Habs lock up Gallagher to six-year extension reportedly worth $22.5M

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The Montreal Canadiens locked up another big piece of their future on Saturday, signing Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract.

That contract will carry a $3.75 million cap hit, meaning a total cost of $22.5 million, according to sources including HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman and TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

If that $3.75 million figure is correct, he’ll be the fourth highest-paid Habs forward behind Tomas Plekanec ($5 million), Max Pacioretty ($4.5 million, yes seriously) and P.A. Parenteau ($4 million). The Habs are paying big money for their defensemen right now – P.K. Subban’s $9 million fee being the most obvious example – but GM Marc Bergevin deserves credit for getting some nice bargains in other situations.

At 22, Gallagher is already showing a nice combination of scoring prowess (81 points in 149 games) and peskiness (116 PIM in that same frame, already generating a dubious reputation with some officials). One can imagine further growth as he gets older and gets more reps, as he’s only logging 15 minutes per night this season.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun provides the year-by-year breakdown:

With Gallagher locked up, much of Montreal’s core is under contract at least through 2015-16, with the biggest exception being rising forward Alex Galchenyuk (he’ll be an RFA if the Canadiens don’t sign him before the end of this season).

As of this writing, Montreal has about $57.41 million in cap space devoted to 15 players in 2015-16, by Cap Geek’s estimate.